Former Grizzly competes in this year’s Rio Paralympics

BY CHRISTIAN SZALAY

Inspired by Wadsworth’s boys head soccer coach, John Johnson, former player Tyler Bennett has persevered his way from a Wadsworth Grizzly to a starter on the USA paralympic soccer team.
Bennett started as just another player on a WASA soccer team but became something very special to his community. Not everyone can say they represent their country in a sport they love; let alone one that is a former Wadsworth Grizzly.
“He never was the kid to make any excuses about practice,” said Mr. Johnson, “He had such a strong passion for the game, which I loved.”
Ever since Bennett was seven years old, he showed that he wanted to be a top soccer player, dominating his grade left and right.
At the age of twelve, Bennett’s life changed forever.
Just before becoming a teenager, Bennett suddenly felt a sharp pain that shot down his back. After consulting with doctors, he and his family discovered that several arteries in his brain had been tangled together. It took multiple surgeries to untangle the arteries in his brain twice: two long, extensive surgeries.
“A lot of his friends were right there with him during the episode of his surgery,” said Johnson.
The worst part of the tragedy, was he did not know if he would ever be able to play the game he loved without a difficult rehabilitation processes.
Bennett looks to pursue medicine and one day become a physicians assistant.

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Tyler Bennet, pictured center, is number 4 on team USA.

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